Category Archives: Game development

Update

Still working on the game. Not much has changed recently though. Have been working on ways to tile dirt to make it look good and still be functional. I fret over these sorts of aspects endlessly.

 

I have based the main game play on interaction between four elements, fire, water, earth and air. I know this is horribly uninspired but I have found out why it is used so much. It is the perfect concept. I have gone through countless iterations of pretty much everything, and they all boil down to these sorts of ideas.

They story concept for the game has gone through countless iterations as well. The main aspects have stuck though, life and death.

 

I work in a very strangled ebb and flow manner. I will not leave something until it is right. So I will spend weeks on inconsequential details. Once I crack that egg, I ride the wave through a rapid development stage until I find the next issue for me to lose sleep over.

 

As a side note. I don’t know if I should post more personal ideas/observations/interests here beside video games in fear of scaring away those with different views from mine. However I also feel like I need an outlet, somewhere I can attempt to cough some of these things up. I will consider not canceling the next opinionated post.

New ending

It has been quite a long time since my last update. Back then I had two weeks off work, and decided in the second week to get stuck in making levels. Which was a great idea, with a bad result.  I got eight to ten levels completed layout wise, and found out that my game was not much fun.  Well, it was ok, but there was a feeling that it needed something else.

So since my last post I have rebuilt everything. To a pretty similar state honestly, I am not sure what it is going to take to really make this a good game. However, the structure is far more flexible, and I can prototype and remove ideas easily and tidily.  So that is what I am doing, trying out gameplay ideas, adding to the graphics library slowly, and mocking up levels.

I use a visual game development program called Construct, made by the chaps at http://www.scirra.com. It is free and  powerful, and the community is small, knowledgeable and friendly.  And it is free. However simple the tools are made to use, you will still need to learn a significant amount of game logic to make anything decent.  Knowing the programs interesting quirks, obscure menus and options helps a lot too. But these are things that you pick up as you play.

Hopefully I make some good progress in the next few weeks to post about.

 

As an aside, as I feared, the store I work in is now selling Power Balance bands. People are stupid and I am a terrible salesman, I try to keep my mouth shut about what rubbish Power Balance is, but I am honest and forward about what I know, to the point of telling customers directly that Power Balance are a scam, and they still sell.

Uncharted territories

Progress has floundered as of late. Many reasons for this. Main one however is that I have never finished a game on my own, and have not really progress past a certain stage of game development in any of my previous projects. But I have taken a few steps to help myself along. Firstly I have deleted all the art work. From the game that is, I do have it saved externally. So I don’t have anything to distract me from what I need to be working on. Level design. While I do need to take into consideration what tile set will accompany each level, I don’t want to be messing with the art while trying to get the level down to something that puts the fun in functional.

So this is what my game currently looks like. A grid in the background to help me align tiles, and to not be white. Pink platforms. And various triggers. In the picture there is a Purple trigger. When the character touches it, play is paused, and the camera will travel up to the yellow target, stay for however long I want, and then return to the character. A simple but extremely useful system. I have a lot of the traps and moving obstacles triggered in this fashion.

I have also bought a USB guitar link cable. Waiting on its arrival, but hopefully it will be good enough to do some decent recording with. I want to make the games music very atmospheric/industrial, incorporating a lot of the environmental sounds into the actual tracks. And then also release a version of the music with guitar tracks. Who knows how it will work out but this is what I am looking to achieve.

Water pressure

Water pressure

In my game I have worked quite hard on making movement in water to closer resemble reality. Of course it will be faster and easier, more exaggerated, how ever I don’t want the standard movement of a lessened gravity, constant sinking, constant jumping to hop along the surface. No, I want buoyancy, I want to float, to have to swim down. Which is turning a platform engine on its head. Literally. I have remade the water movement about 6 times.

Each time it seems great but then a situation crops up that makes it fall apart. Stuff like, running the game under 1000fps makes you bob uncontrollably at the surface, or only being able to have one water body.

Either way, I asked a few people who have some knowledge about water pressure to find out that, as in the image, the depth pressure at B is equal to A, C is the air compressed into the chamber. I had thought that this would be the case. So I got down to programming it as such, and succeeded to find it works just like you would think. Jumping into the water at point B, is the same as point A, which is quite deep. I am not sure how this would affect people at great depths in the real world. Makes me wonder about movies like Deep Blue Sea(my head is like a sharks fin) With the internal dive pool. Perhaps it was not that deep. Either way, it ruined the movement trying to jump into water that pressurized. So I have had to remake it again.

Ultimately I have settled on a constant pressure, instead of a gradient pressure. I needed it to work across chambers, and to remain functional the whole time.

I find it amusing that my main interests(video games and art) require me to basically know everything, or enough of everything to fake it.